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$389,679

| 22 Comments

As a part of what I'm reacting to in the Watertown Times editorial last week (note that I'm not necessarily weeping and rending my garments over the election outcome - I don't know enough about Owens to have an opinion yet), let me toss this out. In the LA Times today, there was an op-ed which - to a large extent I agree with. the author complains about the political idiocy that's ruling California today:
The ineffective response to the current financial crisis reflects trends that have been hurting California public education for years. To win votes, political leaders mandated long prison sentences that forced us to stop building schools and start building prisons. This has made us dumber but no safer. Leaders pandered by promising tax cuts no matter what and did not worry about how to provide basic services without that money. Those tax cuts did not make us richer; they've made us poorer. To remain in office, they carved out legislative districts that ensured we would have few competitive races and leaders with no ability or incentive to compromise. Rather than strengthening the parties, it pushed both parties to the fringes and weakened them.

When the economy was good, our leaders failed to make hard choices and then faced disasters like the energy crisis. When the economy turned bad, they made no choices until the economy was worse.

In response to failures of leadership, voters came up with one cure after another that was worse than the disease -- whether it has been over-reliance on initiatives driven by special interests, or term limits that remove qualified people from office, or any of the other ways we have come up with to avoid representative democracy.
So what's not to like?

He goes on:
My story is not unique. It is the story of California's rise from the 1960s to the 1990s. Millions of people stayed here and succeeded because of their California education. We benefited from the foresight of an earlier generation that recognized it had a duty to pay it forward.

That was the bargain California made with us when it established the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960. By making California the state where every qualified and committed person can receive a low-cost and high-quality education, all of us benefit. Attracting and retaining the leaders of the future helps the state grow bigger and stronger. Economists found that for every dollar the state invests in a CSU student, it receives $4.41 in return.

So as someone who has lived the California dream, there is nothing more painful to me than to see this dream dying. It is being starved to death by a public that thinks any government service -- even public education -- is not worth paying for. And by political leaders who do not lead but instead give in to our worst, shortsighted instincts.
But there's a problem...let me give some examples.

CSU LA, one local campus of the California State University - the author was a Trustee of the statewide institution - has 119 employees who make over $100K in annual salary - plus 40% burden, I'd guess. The campus President makes $389,679.

Take a look at the job descriptions and salaries below (I've deleted the names, but all this information is available courtesy of the Sacramento Bee). And there's the rub.

I don't mind a whit supporting the cost of building out a university system that could be available to everyone in California (side issue: does everyone really have to go to college?). I think that ladder of opportunity is vital to our success as a state and as a nation.

But when the ladder-builders are getting this fat, lots of people are going to look at their demands for better ladders and wonder whether those ladders are really worth funding.
Job Title
 Total Pay 
PRESIDENT  $        389,679
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        230,262
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        209,862
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        197,296
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        193,482
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        191,022
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        188,916
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        184,600
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        164,964
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        163,983
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        163,806
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        163,128
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        161,272
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        159,816
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        159,234
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        159,048
PHYSICIAN  $        157,036
NETWORK ANALYST -12  $        155,508
GRANT-RELATED/SPECIALLY FUNDED INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY  $        151,987
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        150,875
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        147,246
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        145,746
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        142,289
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        140,952
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        139,866
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        137,742
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        136,902
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        136,884
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        136,392
DEPARTMENT CHAIR - 12 MONTH  $        135,191
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        134,816
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        134,463
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        134,124
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        133,296
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        131,862
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        130,254
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        128,862
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        128,634
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        127,747
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        126,726
LIBRARIAN - 12 MONTH  $        126,416
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        125,334
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - 12 MONTH  $        123,817
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - 12 MONTH  $        122,426
DEPARTMENT CHAIR - 12 MONTH  $        122,126
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        121,254
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        120,972
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        120,138
SERGEANT  $        119,900
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        119,082
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        118,759
DEPARTMENT CHAIR - 12 MONTH  $        118,508
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        118,434
ADMINISTRATOR IV  $        117,160
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        116,466
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        114,812
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        114,424
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        113,603
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        112,602
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        112,434
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        112,117
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        112,038
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        111,925
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        109,620
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - 12 MONTH  $        109,217
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        109,104
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        109,086
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        108,816
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        108,786
ANALYST/PROGRAMMER -12  $        108,624
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - 12 MONTH  $        108,127
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        107,594
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        107,426
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        107,411
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        106,360
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        106,296
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        106,204
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        106,103
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        105,159
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        105,071
LIBRARIAN - 12 MONTH  $        104,485
HEAD COACH - 12 MONTH  $        104,365
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        104,072
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        103,976
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        103,868
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        103,758
SUPERVISING LIBRARIAN - 12 MONTH  $        103,575
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        103,412
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        103,410
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        103,410
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        103,290
ADMINISTRATOR III  $        102,631
LIBRARIAN, PROGRAM SERVICES - 12 MONTH  $        102,365
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        102,354
LIBRARIAN - 12 MONTH  $        102,209
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        102,090
SERGEANT  $        101,861
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        101,532
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        101,484
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        101,484
PHARMACIST II  $        101,449
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        101,400
ANALYST/PROGRAMMER -12  $        101,373
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - 12 MONTH  $        101,299
SERGEANT  $        101,292
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        101,070
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        100,975
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        100,819
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        100,819
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        100,794
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        100,790
STUDENT SERVICES PROFESSIONAL, ACADEMIC-RELATED II  $        100,676
ADMINISTRATOR II  $        100,565
ANALYST/PROGRAMMER -12  $        100,548
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        100,514
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        100,334
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        100,286
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        100,234
INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY - ACADEMIC YEAR  $        100,053

-

22 Comments

And every one of these doubtless has a fat pension that will be paid for 40+ years after they retire. Assuming the state doesn't go bankrupt first and tear up the pensions, which is a fairly good bet.

So, to the editorial writers:

Not One Damn Dime.

Not until you get rid of the giant bureaucracies, the monster compensation packages, and the whiny attitude that the taxpayers exist for the purpose of tax farming.

Go read the comments in the Sac Bee sometime; judging by the way state employees whine about their "below market" salaries, you'd think everyone in the private sector was a partner at Goldman Sachs.

BTW, I already fiddled with my state withholding so I'll pay exactly the right amount of taxes (ie, owe a bit, not enough for a penalty). I'm not going to let our glorious bureaucrats have a zero-interest loan of my money, particularly when they'll probably pay the tax refund with an IOU.

No mention that the 'failure to make hard choices' really meant increasing state spending by 30% from 2003, without which California would be in surplus. Perhaps we taxpayers can be forgiven for asking just what we've been getting for that outlay, and why state employees' jobs are protected and come with fat pensions, when taxpayers are being laid off, watching their 401k's dwindle, and their jobs leave the state.

As far as the editorialist is concerned 'leading' means more spending, and yet more taxes. Why? Oh, yeah: Jeff Bleich is the chairman of the Cal State University Board of Trustees and most recently served as special counsel to President Obama.

He's part of the problem.

It's possible that the Administration is top-heavy, but I don't see how that is self-evident from this list. If their second-most senior programmer is pulling just over 100K, then no one can accuse them of overpaying the IT staff. The pharmacist is also paid in line with the prevailing private-sector wage, as I understand it.

The sheer number of "Administrators" looks surprising, but maybe we should find out their responsibilities before jumping to conclusions.

Meanwhile—and this is not snark—how much of the increase in state spending right after 2003 was compensation for Schwarzenegger's grandstanding vehicle license fee repeal? Didn't the state make up the loss to local governments that received the fee?

Although not mentioned in this article, it is comparatively easy to find that the United States per capita spending on education is the second highest in the world. The results are scandalous, our students consistently rank at the bottom of most scales. Where the money is going is comparatively easy to find. Most parochial and private schools spend about 5 to 10% of their budget on "administration"; These are people not actually teaching. The average for public schools hovers between 60 and 66%. In other words, our public schools have 3 well paid administrators for every 2 teachers.

Go read the comments in the Sac Bee sometime; judging by the way state employees whine about their "below market" salaries

The virtues of a government job used to be security, not salary. It was a tradeoff. The same sort of tradeoff is true to a lesser extent for academia; yes, you can spend your life studying Etruscan pottery but you aren't going to get rich in the process. Somewhere along the line government jobs changed and now it is both security and salary. And administrative jobs have multiplied to fill this new ecological niche.

I wonder how much value an accountant would assign to the security of a government job? It's one of those intangibles, like reputation, but that doesn't mean it is without value.

Why does this guy complain about Cals higher education budget as a percent of the total budget instead of real dollars? What does one have to do with the other?

California is spending 12 BILLION dollars on higher education this year. Thats the entire GDP of Iraq for gods sake. In a year with crushing deficits no less.

Actually, security (if you believe it) is very easy for an accountant (I'm not one) to measure: it's basically the net present value of an annuity that lasts N years. If you add a defined-benefit pension, you run it out to life expectancy.

For a six figure job with a defined-benefit pension, the NPV would be several million at least.

On pensions, I don't trust elected officials when civil service unions are involved, so my preference would be to outlaw all forms of deferred compensation for anyone in CA state and local government. 401K matches only, so things are always completely expensed on the watch of the current "class" of politicians, and not their grandkids.

On pensions, I don't trust elected officials when civil service unions are involved, so my preference would be to outlaw all forms of deferred compensation for anyone in CA state and local government. 401K matches only, so things are always completely expensed on the watch of the current "class" of politicians, and not their grandkids.

Amen, brother. Gee, sounds like something for a proposition... :D

You live in a one party state.

You have a socon Republican Party in a state where a libertarian Republican Party (legal pot any one? gay friendly anyone?) might do well enough to keep the Democrats in check.

My advice if you really want to fix CA is to get involved with Republican politics and change the Party. You might start with asking libertaran Republican Dana Rohrabacher for advice.

You might also want to look up "Libertarian Republican Eric Dondero" to see what is going on nationally. Eric is strong on national defense.

I don't mind a whit supporting the cost of building out a university system that could be available to everyone in California (side issue: does everyone really have to go to college?). I think that ladder of opportunity is vital to our success as a state and as a nation. But when the ladder-builders are getting this fat, lots of people are going to look at their demands for better ladders and wonder whether those ladders are really worth funding.

$100,000 is more or less at the beginning of the fifth quintile of income in CA. For CSU LA to have eight employees in this category does not offend me. I'm not sure I follow the argument that we should question the merits of supporting higher education because 119 employees at CSU LA make more than 100,000/year. If we cut everyone on the list back to $100,000 (why??)we'd save barely $1 million. CSU LA I believe just suffered an across the board cut of 10 percent on the heals of previous cut-backs. To suggest that they're getting fat at this time seems implausible.

Inequality of income distribution is a worthwhile topic to tackle. However, the proponents of not paying government, or educators, are not usually found on the forefront of trying to find solutions for that problem.

Salary isn't really the issue- its the tens and hundreds thousands of pensions kick in at an early age and compile faster than inflation that dwarfs everything else. I don't know anyone in the private sector with that kind of a gift. The real world is mainly tied to 401ks, and so should the public sector be.

Roland, you're kind of unclear here "eight employees in this category" and "119 employees" - are both of those OK with you?

Does the notion that there isa social good argument for spending more money on education, and there's a private interest argument as well -in the private interest of those who make more than double the media income for the region, enjoy civil service job security, benefits, and pensions far beyond what the average person AT THEIR INCOME LEVEL enjoys?

So we tax the middle class to support members of the upper class? How is that supportable?

And...as a simple matter of electoral politics, it's damn hard to convince someone making $46,000/year that we should tax them more so that we can hire more people at $120K/year.

Is that clearer?

Marc

I'm not disagreeing here, although the University of California Retirement System made enough good investments (sorry, Harvard!) that the state burden in funding these pensions was low for quite some time. I'd just point out that it is the private sector that moved away from employer-sponsored pensions (except, of course, for management, who, being demigods, continue to receive lavish compensation and pensions). It would be more accurate to say that the public sector retained the status quo ante. The 401k is only thirty years old.
And...as a simple matter of electoral politics, it's damn hard to convince someone making $46,000/year that we should tax them more so that we can hire more people at $120K/year.
Aren't there several states where the highest-paid state government employee is a college football coach? I think that's an outrage and I appear to be alone. People making $46,000/year are willing to buy tickets to watch athletes making millions. The issue is whether the electorate feels they are getting value for money. (What's a police lieutenant make? My guess is about 100K.)

"It would be more accurate to say that the public sector retained the status quo ante."

Which is untenable as the retirement age is static but life expectancy rises. Actually, I'd be interested to know how the contracts have evolved over the years. Somehow I doubt anybody was getting these silver plated pensions with early retirement back in the 60s and 70s.

"Aren't there several states where the highest-paid state government employee is a college football coach?"

Ah, but here we have one of those rare possibilities for a government employee to justify their pay. A successful football team can bring in far more in tv contracts, merchandising, and donations than they cost. Thats (theoretically) how it works in the private sector, a wise boss doesn't give a damn what he's paying someone, he looks at return on investment. If you could have hired Bill Gates in 1975 you could pay him a billion dollars a year and still come out on top (so to speak). One of the myriad problems with public spending is everyone involved is deeply invested in NOT allowing those types of comparisons.

The Longhorns' football program accounted for $63.8 million of the athletic department's revenue of $105 million, a total surpassed that year only by Florida ($107.8 million) and Ohio State ($109.4 million). Notre Dame's football program generated $63.7 million of the athletic department's $83.6 million in revenue.

Using that same set of financial reports, the most recent available, Forbes magazine last November declared Texas college "football's most profitable team" in 2006-07. The Longhorns generated a surplus of $46.2 million.

The Texas program continues to gain financial momentum. For 2008-09, UT is budgeting total athletic department revenue of nearly $127 million, spokesman Nick Voinis said. Much of the increase is because of an extra home football game and 13,000 extra seats at renovated Royal Memorial Stadium, he said.

As long as UT keeps winning, Waco economist Ray Perryman said, the Longhorns will continue to be a financial "juggernaut." Texas is currently ranked fifth in the national polls.
Link

Mack Brown makes 3 million dollars a year. So do you fire him and offer his successor $50K?

That's nice for Texas. But most athletic departments appear to be a drain on University resources. I wonder how Texas as a whole does when you add in all of the other state schools?!

The Berkeley faculty voted yesterday to cut off subsidy of Intercollegiate Athletics, which has been running several million in the red per year while the campus as a whole is in a budget nightmare. But from the citizens of the state, silence.

The Cal football coach gets a minimum of about $1.5 million and with various incentives he may make $4 million.

He's a very good coach. But then, the Cal physics department is very good too.

On the question of defined-benefit pensions, the reason they made sense economically for many companies in Ye Olden Days is because most people didn't collect them: they changed jobs or died too young to collect it for very long. A defined-benefit pension is a sort of bet by both sides: the employee bets that he can stay employed long enough to get the pension and collect it long enough to make it worth his while, and the employer is betting that enough people will "lose the bet" to cover the "winners". It's exactly the same wager that the government makes with Social Security.

If most people die at 62 or so, it makes a lot of sense to hand out pensions at 65. In fact, it makes a heck of a lot more sense for the employer than handing out 401K-style matches, which would be passed on to heirs and would have to be booked against earnings immediately. But with life expectencies pushing 80, and going up by several months a year in some years, defined-benefit pensions simply can't work, unless you're the government and have taxpayers to squeeze.

Pensions are gone because the numbers don't work anymore, especially since our hotly competitive world means that most employees will outlive their employers. (And yes, it is more competitive than it has been since before WWI since the entire planet is "online"; for most of the 20th century, at least half the world was essentially "offline" economically due to war or Communism.)

Of the six companies I've worked at as an adult, four of them no longer exist. But the 401K matches I got from them are safely in my rollover IRA.

There is a good argument to be made for 401k type matching instead of pensions (although none of the defunct companies I worked for in the past matched), in terms of job flexibility. I think, though, you are exaggerating the effect of change in life expectancy. People didn't used to die at 62. They died at three months or three years from infectious diseases, but once they reached, say, 60, their odds weren't so much worse than today.

The real "bet" is if you're 28 or 35, not if you're 60, especially for men, who I'd guess were the majority of people who worked at companies with defined-benefit pensions in those days. Companies with pension plans paid into them even for younger employees, whose chances of collecting the pension for a longish time was a lot lower than employees much nearer to retirement.

"That's nice for Texas. But most athletic departments appear to be a drain on University resources."

Were not talking about athletic departments,
we're talking about football programs, which are profitable, by and large. That Title IX insists on funding a host of massively unprofitable programs is a different topic.

" I wonder how Texas as a whole does when you add in all of the other state schools?!"

Good question. I suspect most schools are shoveling cash at football coaches for no apparent reason though. You suggested an outlier (highest paid employee in the state), you are going to refute me for replying with an outlier?

"The Cal football coach gets a minimum of about $1.5 million and with various incentives he may make $4 million."

So? Cal has a very profitable football program. If you cut his salary the football program would bring LESS money into the school. Thats your business plan?

"He's a very good coach. But then, the Cal physics department is very good too."

Great, how much money does the physics department
generate?

According to Google, 54 percent of football teams (not athletic departments) run in the black. I'm not sure I like those odds for what is basically a superfluity. The physics department is part of the University's core mission.

Which will be an order of magnitude better than any other sport besides basketball. Are you suggesting cutting all athletics? Aren't athletics also a core mission of the university? Moreso than, say, Tibetan Lesbian Studies?

Or do you just have a problem with football, which ironically takes in more than it puts out more often than not? If a given school wants to cut football, fine, go for it. But I don't see much point in cutting a salary if it is demonstrably justified by bringing resources into the school. Unless you are more interested in appearances anyway.

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